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Bernard Cribbins is confirmed dead at the age of 93.

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Bernard was best known as a English actor (The Wombles).
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Bernard Cribbins
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Bernard Cribbins

Staithes MMB 20C Old Jack's Boat - Bernard Cribbins.jpg
Cribbins in September 2012
Bernard Joseph Cribbins

(1928-12-29)29 December 1928
Oldham, Lancashire, England
Died28 July 2022(2022-07-28) (aged 93)
  • Actor
  • singer
Years active1943–2022
Gillian McBarnet
(m. 1955; died 2021)
Bernard Joseph Cribbins OBE (29 December 1928 - 28 July 2022) was an English actor and singer whose career spanned seven decades. But he is dead as a doorknob now
During the 1960s, Cribbins became known in the UK for his successful novelty records including "The Hole in the Ground" and "Right Said Fred" and appearances in comedy films including Two-Way Stretch (1960) and the Carry On series. His notable screen roles include Albert Perks in The Railway Children (1970), barman Felix Forsythe in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972) and pretentious hotel guest Mr. Hutchinson in the Fawlty Towers episode "The Hotel Inspectors" (1975). On television, he was a regular and prolific reader for the BBC series Jackanory from 1966 to 1991, he narrated the children's programme The Wombles (1973–1975) and played the title role in the CBeebies series Old Jack's Boat (2013–2015).
In the 1966 film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., Cribbins portrayed Tom Campbell, a companion to Dr. Who. 41 years later, he began appearing in the revival series of Doctor Who as Wilfred Mott, the grandfather of regular companion Donna Noble and a temporary companion to the Tenth Doctor.
Cribbins died on 28 July 2022 at the age of 93.
1 Early life
2 Career
2.1 Early career
2.2 Films
2.3 Narration and voice work
2.4 Television
2.5 Later stage career
2.6 Doctor Who
3 Honours
4 Personal life
5 Filmography
5.1 Film
5.2 Television
6 Discography
6.1 Albums
6.2 Chart singles
7 References
8 External links
Early life
Bernard Joseph Cribbins was born on 29 December 1928 in the Derker area of Oldham, Lancashire, the son of cotton weaver Ethel (née Clarkson; 1898–1989) and World War I veteran John Edward Cribbins (1896–1964). He has two siblings, alongside whom he grew up close to poverty. He described his father as a "jack of all trades" who also dabbled in acting. Cribbins left school at the age of 13 and found a job as an assistant stage manager at a local theatre club, where he also took some small acting roles, and then served an apprenticeship at the Oldham Repertory Theatre. In 1947, he commenced national service with the Parachute Regiment in Aldershot, Hampshire, as well as Mandatory Palestine.
Early career
Cribbins made his first West End theatre appearance in 1956 at the Arts Theatre, playing the two Dromios in A Comedy of Errors, and co-starred in the first West End productions of Not Now Darling, There Goes the Bride and Run for Your Wife. He also starred in the revue And Another Thing, and recorded a single of a song from the show titled "Folksong".
In 1962, three comic songs Cribbins had recorded were released and entered the UK Singles Chart. "The Hole in the Ground" was about an annoyed workman who eventually buries a harasser. "Right Said Fred" was about three workmen who struggle to move an unspecified heavy and awkward object into or out of a building. Both these songs were produced by George Martin for Parlophone, with music by Ted Dicks and lyrics by Myles Rudge. "Hole in the Ground" and "Right Said Fred" both reached the top 10 in the UK Singles Chart. The third and final Cribbins single of the year was "Gossip Calypso", which was another top 30 hit.
Cribbins appeared in films from the early 1950s, mainly comedies. His credits include Two-Way Stretch (1960) and The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963) with Peter Sellers, Crooks in Cloisters (1964) and three Carry On films – Carry On Jack (1963), Carry On Spying (1964) and Carry On Columbus (1992). Other appearances include the second Doctor Who film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) as Special Police Constable Tom Campbell; She (1965); Casino Royale (1967) as Carlton Towers, a British Foreign Office official, The Railway Children (1970) as Mr Albert Perks, the station porter and the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Frenzy (1972) as Felix Forsythe. Later films include Dangerous Davies – The Last Detective (1981), Blackball (2003) and Run for Your Wife (2012).
Narration and voice work
Cribbins was the narrator of the British animated children's TV series The Wombles from 1973 to 1975 and also played the character of the Water Rat in a BBC radio adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. He was the celebrity storyteller in more episodes of Jackanory than any other personality, with a total of 114 appearances between 1966 and 1991. He also narrated the audio tape of the Antonia Barber book The Mousehole Cat. From 1974 to 1976, Cribbins narrated Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.
In the 1960s, he provided the voice of the character Tufty in RoSPA road safety films. He also provided the voice of Buzby, a talking cartoon bird that was the mascot for the Post Office. He also appeared in advertisements for Hornby model trains. In 1978, he provided one of two voiceovers in the electricity safety public information film Play Safe. The other voice artist was Brian Wilde; Wilde voiced the owl and Cribbins voiced the robin. In 1981, Music for Pleasure (EMI) released a Swallows and Amazons audio book on tape cassette, read by Cribbins, abridged by Edward Phillips.
Cribbins provided the voice of Harry Bailey, the landlord of the Tabard Inn described by Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, at the Canterbury Tales Attraction in Kent, which he recorded in 1987.
Cribbins undertook a short stint of voiceovers for the Mark and Lard Show on BBC Radio 1 where he explained made-up folk traditions.
Cribbins also provided the voiceover work for A Passion For Angling, starring Chris Yates and Bob James (1993).
In 2013, Cribbins played Old Bailey in the radio adaptation of Neverwhere, dramatized by Dirk Maggs.
In 2015, Cribbins was among an ensemble cast in an audio production of The Jungle Book, in which he played the White Cobra.
Cribbins with Susie Silvey in 1983
Cribbins was the star of the ITV series Cribbins (1969–70). Other TV appearances include The Avengers (1968), Fawlty Towers (1975, as the spoon salesman Mr Hutchinson who is mistaken by the character Basil Fawlty for a hotel inspector), Worzel Gummidge (1980), Shillingbury Tales (1980) and its spin-off Cuffy (1983). Besides voicing The Wombles, Cribbins was a regular on BBC children's television in the 1970s as host of performance panel game Star Turn and Star Turn Challenge.
These programmes concluded with Cribbins narrating a detective story as recurring character "Ivor Notion", with a script usually by Johnny Ball but sometimes by Myles Rudge, the co-writer of his Top 10 singles. He starred in the BBC's 1975 Christmas production Great Big Groovy Horse, a rock opera based on the story of the Trojan Horse shown on BBC2 alongside Julie Covington and Paul Jones. It was later repeated on BBC1 in 1977. He regularly appeared on BBC TV's The Good Old Days recreating songs made famous by the great stars of Music Hall.
Among his later TV appearances are Dalziel and Pascoe (1999), Last of the Summer Wine (2003), Coronation Street (2003, as Wally Bannister) and Down to Earth (2005).
Cribbins starred as Jack in the series Old Jack's Boat, set in Staithes, and broadcast on the CBeebies channel starting in 2013. This has featured Helen Lederer, Janine Duvitski and former Doctor Who companion Freema Agyeman in supporting roles. Although Agyeman and Cribbins both played companions and supporting characters during David Tennant's tenure in Doctor Who (appearing in six episodes together), Old Jack's Boat marks the first time the two actors have appeared together on screen.
On 9 May 2015, Cribbins gave a reading at VE Day 70: A Party to Remember in Horse Guards Parade, London which was broadcast live on BBC1.
In November 2018, it was announced that Cribbins would portray Private Godfrey in a series of re-creations of lost episodes from the BBC sitcom Dad's Army. However, Cribbins left the production in February 2019 citing 'personal reasons'. The role of Godfrey was later given to Timothy West.
Later stage career
Cribbins' later theatre credits include the roles of Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes with Elaine Paige at the Prince Edward Theatre, Dolittle in My Fair Lady at the Houston Opera House, Texas and Watty Watkins in George Gershwin's Lady, Be Good at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and on tour. He has also appeared in numerous pantomimes. He appeared in the BBC CBeebies Proms (Number 11 & 13) at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July 2014 as Old Jack.
National Life Stories conducted an interview (C1173/14) with Cribbins on his memories of Richard Negri in 2006 for its An Oral History of Theatre Design collection held by the British Library.
Doctor Who
Having played Tom Campbell, a companion to Dr. Who in the feature film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966), Cribbins returned to Doctor Who in 2006, when a photograph of him and fellow Doctor Who alumna Lynda Baron at a wedding appeared on the BBC's tie-in website for the television episode "Tooth and Claw".
In January 2007, Cribbins had a guest role as glam rock promoter Arnold Korns in Horror of Glam Rock, a Doctor Who audiodrama by Big Finish Productions. In December 2007, he appeared as Wilfred Mott in the Christmas television special, "Voyage of the Damned"; he then appeared in a recurring capacity as the same character for the 2008 series, as the grandfather of companion Donna Noble. He became a Tenth Doctor temporary companion himself in "The End of Time", the two-part 2009–10 Christmas and New Year special, when his character was inadvertently responsible for that Doctor's demise. Cribbins's role as Wilfred Mott makes him the only actor to have played two companions, and the only actor featured alongside the Doctor's enemies, the Daleks, in both the TV and cinema versions of Doctor Who. Cribbins will return alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate in a 2023 Doctor Who episode celebrating the programme's 60th anniversary.
Cribbins was awarded the General Service Medal, with clasp "Palestine 1945–48", for his service in Palestine with 2/3 Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, on 30 May 1948, under Army Order 146 of 1947.
In 2009, Cribbins was honoured for his work in children's television with a Special Award at the British Academy Children's Awards which was presented by former co-star Catherine Tate, who portrayed his character's granddaughter in Doctor Who. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to drama. In 2014, he was awarded the J.M. Barrie award for his "lasting contribution to children's arts".
Cribbins was named 'British Icon of the Week' on 23 December 2020 by BBC America.
Personal life
When he joined the Oldham Rep, Cribbins met Gillian McBarnet, an aspiring actress. They were married from 1955 until her death on 11 October 2021. They lived in Weybridge, Surrey, and had no children, with Cribbins revealing in 2018 that they "lost one quite early on and that was the only time got near it". He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, but said in 2018 that he was "in good health" at the age of 90 with the exception of a "nagging back condition".
In 2018 his autobiography, Bernard Who? 75 Years Of Doing Just About Anything, was published by Constable.
In February 2022, a successful social media campaign secured the rights for Cribbins' autobiography to be recorded as an audiobook, in his own voice.
On 28 July 2022, Cribbins died at the age of 93.
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